Thursday, September 2, 2010

All I Need Is This Teapot. And This Wind Chime. And This Candle. That’s It. That’s All I Need. And This Cookie Jar.

There is a place that most know about but seldom speak of in polite society. A place where men fear to tread. A place that turns a normal adult woman into a crazy lunatic the minute she walks through the doors. A place filled with objects that can strike terror in the hearts of even the bravest of souls.

That place?

The Cracker Barrel.


Never has there existed a restaurant that makes me behave in such a terrible manner such as this one. I don’t really understand what happens. I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of evil tchochke vortex located directly in the middle of their “country store” that sucks me in. We only visit Cracker Barrel when we’re on road trips. Usually it is the place we stop on our annual drive to Minnesota to see my family. I think it’s the biscuits that lure us in. Captain Carl is always the first to suggest it.

Me: Where should we eat?
Captain: I think there’s a Cracker Barrel about 30 minutes up the road.
Me: Are you sure you want to go there?
Captain: Why not?
Me: Oh, I don’t know…
Captain: I love their food.
Me: Me too.
Captain: Okay, let’s stop there then.

And then we walk in. And then he remembers why he should never, ever take me to the Cracker Barrel.

Me: Ooooh look! Yankee candles!
Captain: Shit. I forgot about the country store.
Me: They have cinnamon scented ones!
Captain: You have a million candles already.
Me: But not this one! I have to get it. Ooooooh! Would you just look at those cute teapots!
Captain: Come on, let’s get a table and eat.
Me: Just a sec. I have to see these teapots.
Captain: Fine.
Me: Ooooh!!! Look at this one! *holds teapot up by face*
Captain: You don’t even drink tea.
Me: I know, but look! It has bluebirds on it! Awwwww! And hearts!
Captain: *rubs eyes* Come on…I’m starving.
Me: Okay okay. *squealing* OMG!!!! Wind chimes! *runs off*
Captain: Damn it!
Me: Honey, we don’t have any wind chimes…
Captain: Because I hate them.
Me: Why do you hate them again?
Captain: Because the sound is too random.
Me: Oh but listen! *runs fingers through all 50 wind chimes* See? Beautiful!
Captain: *sighs*
Me: We should get the one with the dogs on the top. Oh no! This one! With the fall leaves! It’s almost fall, we have to get this one!
Captain: I’m getting a table. *walks away*
Me: Okay, order me a Diet Coke. I’ll be there in a minute. *runs to corner of store* 70% off! *yelling* Honey! 70% off!!
Captain: *pretends not to know me*

20 minutes later

Me: You’re eating. You ordered without me?
Captain: I told you I was hungry.
Me: Check it out…I got the best deal ever! *opens shopping bag*
Captain: What the hell is that?
Me: It’s a cookie jar!
Captain: It’s in the shape of a John Deere tractor.
Me: Adorable, right?!!
Captain: I just…why?
Me: It was 70% off! *hand up in the air* High five!
Captain: Which made it….
Me: $29.99. A total steal! Huh? Huh? Come on...high five! *looks at hand*
Captain: *stares at cookie jar* Why is this a necessity in life?
Me: We need somewhere to put the cookies. *gives self high five* Yeah! I'm awesome!
Captain: You hardly ever bake cookies.
Me: I will now that I have this!
Captain: And also it’s a tractor.
Me: It’s decorative. Nevermind, you don’t understand.
Captain: What’s in that other bag?
Me: Oh ummm….just some things.
Captain: Wind chimes?
Me: Maybe.

One hour later…on the road.

Me: *moaning*
Captain: What’s wrong?
Me: Why did you let me buy that junk?
Captain: What? I didn’t LET you do anything…you just did it. Just like you always do.
Me: Well you're the husband. You're in charge. You should have stopped me.
Captain: I haven't been in charge since I met you.
Me: But still....a John Deere cookie jar?? Gah!
Captain: Last year it was those creepy angel statues. The year before that it was all those dry soup mixes. And then there was the Great Santa Mug Debacle of 2005.
Me: Seriously, I don’t know why I do it. I’m like a crazy person in that place.
Captain: Agreed.


Me: We have to pack lighter next year.
Captain: Why?
Me: So I can fit one of those Cracker Barrel rocking chairs in the back.


Mandy said...

So it's a restaurant ... and a store? Like a truck stop?

Miss Yvonne said...

Mandy: It's a restaurant with a store up front. They make you walk through all their damn country cutesy stuff to get to the restaurant so by the time you make it to the hostess, you have somehow bought a stuffed animal, 50 pieces of old fashioned candy and something with the Coca Cola emblem on it. It's marketing genius.

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

I started young. With the candy cane sticks. Sooo many flavors. And the giant jawbreakers.

I can't go there. I just can't.

Wow, that was awkward said...

I've never been in one, but I love The Jerk. Excellent blog title.

Megs said...

I hate the country store. There's so much stuff, I feel like its all reaching out to grab me and put its country knick knack tentacles all over me.

This may be left over trauma from my grandmother and my mother always needing to shop in there for 2 hours before they would let anyone eat.

You have created a remarkably accurate portrait of the way I remember them behaving.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Ha! I knew there was a reason I've never been in a Cracker Barrel. But I was in an antique shop just recently, and the conversation sounded a lot like what you've described here.

kate said...

So Cracker Barrel for you is like Hobby Lobby for me? I can't go into that store without spending a small fortune...God help me the next time I go in there. They've got their Christmas stuff out already...I NEED RED, SPARKLY THINGS.

Didactic Pirate said...

That's just.... I mean, I don't understand how... why would you want a cookie jar with... is this...

Have you considered electroshock therapy for this condition?

VM Sehy Photography said...

Apparently I'm immune. The only time I stepped foot into a Cracker Barrel was in Salt Lake City. The stuff in the store was too cutesy for my taste. I didn't think the food was that great either. Could just be that location. Hum, maybe they can make an antidote out of my blood.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I haven't been but I hear I need to go.

I should probably win the lottery first!

Hope you and yours are happy and well. Haven't been reading many blogs and I miss all of my bloggy friends.


Sarah P said...

OMG! You haven't even seen the porcelain kewpie doll statues, have you?


DISCONTINUED CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

adrienne said...

when you wrote 'a place where men fear to tread', i totally thought you were talking about a menstruation lodge.

i don't think we have cracker barrels in new york.

Ed said...

We love Cracker Barrel. The kids love the giant checkers, and we own one of the rockers.

My oldest has been calling it Cherry Crack since he was two. He's 11 now. That makes me love it all the more.

Helena said...

thankfully, these, whatever they are, do not exist in Australia, let alone the middle of desert Australia. I am safe. For now. *touches wood and sheilds wallet close*

Moooooog35 said...



I just figured out that I no longer need Viagra.

Amy, Woman Exploding said...

Oh, hell, no, Miss Yvonne! Not the full-of-human-crackers Cracker Barrel! Can't you just drive through a Grandy's and get your country cookin' fix? They have chicken and dumplins' on Tuesdays...

A Kitchen Witch said...

I love this story. This story is like a day in my husband & I's life. I read it to him and he got a good chuckle from it. I have a little blue bird trinket or ring holder doohickey thing that sits on my nightstand. We keep our rings in it when we are not wearing them but, my husband was like, "why do we have to have this thing?" That store's the devil.

Sarah P said...


Jules said...

I'm with Moooooog35 on this one!

Insectman said...

I used to think cracker barrel was really cute. Until all those discrimination lawsuits.

Those weren't so cute.

But here's a blog about a cute angel, written by a cute boy:

LisaDuvall said...

You know what I really hate? When you find a new blog you absolutely love and then you spend two damn days reading the archives. It's totally worth it and all but two days? Man.

Love your blog. Also...Cracker Barrel has yummy biscuits.

Chris said...

I miss Stuckey's.

Joanna Jenkins said...

A trip to Cracker Barrel is the most expensive meal I eat!!!! I can't walk out empty handed and I'm not talking about a doggie-bag ;-)

EJ said...

Everybody should have wind chimes! And one can't have too many beautiful things!

justmakingourway said...

Quite possibly the best blog title ever.

I have never been in a Cracker Barrel - and I'm not big on the "country" stuff. But I know I would be walking out of there with a bunch of crap all the same.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

Back in NJ I had one down the road from us. I'm not big country fan, but they got me with the old fashion toys, candles and candy. Damm them!
Praise the Lord we dont have one close enough now. Did you try the Chocolate cobbler?

Kristine said...

YES. The old fashioned candy! The old fashioned candy! Everyone needs black licorice chewing gum!

Kim said...

I am so guilty of walking out of Cracker Barrel only to suffer buyer's remorse just hours later.

Kurt said...

I don't go there any more. Being unmarried means never having to go in a "country store". Ever. Besides, my parents will be dead soon. I'm minutes away from tchochke pretty much all the time.